Saturday, November 5, 2011

No Dinky Toy

Used to be the only hope of seeing a Foden in Canada was to buy one of the excellent diecast Dinky Toys made by Meccano Ltd. Not so now.

Schlumberger, the world wide drilling services company, has a fleet of wireline and data logging Fodens. These trucks are fitted with electrical wires which are lowered in to wells to measure, record and then transmit data (by satellite.) The Schlumberger brothers invented wireline data collection in 1927 and have developed it to the curent state of the art.

For pure Foden fans, I should acknowledge that as with some North American truck brands the name can be misleading (OK I will only mention Autocar in passing.)

Foden, the venerable British truck manufacturer from Sandbach, Cheshire, fell on hard times in the 1970s and despite government bailouts went into receivership in 1980 and was snapped up by the deep pocketed PACCAR (Pacific Car and Foundry) the makers of Kenworth and Peterbilt.

PACCAR then proceeded to buy DAF in the Netherlands in 1996, then Leyland trucks in the UK in 1998.

Shortly thereafter the Leyland factory started to produce DAFs that were badged as Foden, and independent Foden production ceased. By 2006 the sham was given up and the Foden name was retired. Nothing against DAFs, they are fine trucks I am sure, but the Foden history was just not enough to justify a free standing brand, and now PACCAR produces only DAFs in the UK.

The Schlumberger truck pictured is interesting though, because it not only has a DAF cab, with Foden badge, but also carries Kenworth on its doors. These particular trucks are often shipped all over the work to work where needed, and so perhaps the Kenworth name is more recognizable in the oil fields.



  1. So cool! I would love to see one of these.

  2. They are branded as Kenworth for import purposes in North America, as Foden has no presence here. However, we still have to order parts from Europe any time something breaks. The newest generation wireline trucks used in the US and Canada are 100% Kenworth from the get-go.

    1. newest version of wireline trucks is Renault kerax 380 DXI

  3. I was pleasantly surprised to come across this picture, as I was one of the wireline logging engineers who used to work on this exact truck, back when I worked for Schlumberger based out of Dartmouth, NS. This pic must have been taken while we were enroute to or from a job in Quebec or NB.